To Top

Child Support Calculations In California

One of the most common questions which are raised by couples going through a divorce is about how child support is determined by the courts. The couple is generally concerned about who will be liable for providing support to the child without understanding that child support needs to be paid by the noncustodial parent.

The reasons for this determination is because the custodial parent is already providing support to the child financially in the form of food, shelter and other needs. Therefore it becomes the responsibility of the noncustodial parent to make a contribution for the support. Some situations have been observed where the custody of the child is with a third-party and in such cases, the possibilities of both parents being ordered to pay child support to the third-party is a reality.

The information provided below will guide you through the process of making child-support payments in California.

[su_quote cite=”James Bovard” class=”cust-pagination”]The more expansive government is, the more perils people face in daily lives, be it from IRS agents or from child support services, or from other agencies that often have little or no legal restraints on their power. [/su_quote]

The primary considerations for child support determination

When there is a necessity to determine the appropriate level of child support due by the noncustodial parent of the child for the maintenance of the child’s health, education, general welfare and standard of living the process is determined by the courts after considering certain factors and guidelines which are evaluated on individual requirements. The courts believe every child has different departments and therefore a single law cannot be applied across the board.

The courts will be able to determine the quality and quantity of support needed by the child only if they are given all the necessary information as required because it will be helpful for them. It will also ensure that the child receives everything he or she needs.

Guidelines in California for calculating child support

Courts in California have certain guidelines which have been set up to help in calculating the amount of child support which should be ordered in any particular case. The California Department of Child support services has a calculator which provides the child support guideline and can help to estimate the financial support which a parent may be required to pay either to the spouse or they may be entitled to receive as noncustodial parents of the child. Both parents of the child are equally responsible for providing support to the child under California law until one of the following:

  • The child turns 18 and is a full-time student of high school.
  • The child completes the 12th grade.
  • The child turns 19 or whichever occurs first.

The following factors are generally considered when determining the support to be ordered for the child under California law.

  • The amount of money the parents are earning or can earn.
  • What are the other sources of income of the parent?
  • The number of children the parents have together.
  • The total time spent by both parents with the child/children.
  • The tax filing status of both parents.
  • Support paid to children from other relationships.
  • Expenses related to health insurance.
  • Mandatory retirement contributions.
  • Mandatory union dues.
  • The cost of sharing day care and uninsured health care costs.

The judge will consider ordering an amount other than these calculations by considering the guidelines mentioned above only in limited situations. In all other cases, these guidelines will be used to calculate the amount of child support which must be paid by the noncustodial parent either the spouse or the third-party who could be having custody of the child.

[su_quote cite=”Janet Reno” class=”cust-pagination”]I collected child support in Dade County, and they wrote a rap song about me, so the kids knew about it, and they started asking me questions about child support. What happens if she wastes the money? What happens if he doesn’t pay? And I answered the questions. [/su_quote]

The child support calculator set up by the courts in California can be used to determine the amount of support that may have to be paid by the parent responsible for child support. Alternatively, the parents can also hire a local family law attorney who will prove extremely beneficial to people who have specific questions about child support calculations in California.

More in Family Law